Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo Hoo Hoo

It's Halloween. So how about a scary story for you? It's from my teen years, -which explains 'scary'.

I was real boy hungry as a teenager. Not a surprise--I know--as the words 'boy hungry' and 'teen' go together like 'church' and 'late' for a girl.
But man, I could develop crushes the size of small third world countries.

In high school Spanish class, ninth grade, my
object'd'crush was Mark. He was a senior, on the football team, and hardly made a peep. In fact the only time I heard him speak was when Mr. Garcia had him say something in Spanish. To think of it, I can't even be sure he spoke English! But, when he'd turn his head to smile at his buddy behind me, --his smile had to go through me to get there -- and that was all I needed. I was a goner.
interpreted Mark's quiet nature to mean a deep maturity and super high IQ. Don't ask me how I made the leap, but I also figured he'd make a great husband. (I obviously had very tight standards then by which to measure a man. The only thing else he needed to be a perfect 10 was a car and prom tickets.) Oh, and did I tell you? Mark had a full grown beard. Now that - that was a man! The facial hair alone, was fonder for hours of daydreams.

There was the pesty problem though, of Mark having a little brother my age. And it seemed to me if I was to love one of them -- I was
probably supposed to love the one that was assigned to me.
But I just couldn't!
ItalicLittle Bro was barely my height and his chin was pasty and hairless. I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing in pining for Mark.

As is usually the case in a school that has other girls, --I was not the only one to notice Mark . . and out of all the luck, --the other woman was his age, blonde, and a cheerleader.
I was none of those things.
I could best be described as a ninth grader.

Now here was the pickle, even further, ---eight weeks into ninth grade, comes Halloween. When you're grown up, like I was, you can't be a little kid and go door to door begging for candy.
Buuutt, at the same time, when you need the candy, it can put you in a real predicament.

Let me just insert here, for the children reading along, --this was all back in a day when the world was not ours on stick. Teenagers didn't expect to do or get whatever they wanted, and at any age. --Like nowadays even with lights off - a band of wild-eyed teens might just as soon climb through a window for candy or whatnot if so inclined. There is no respect for Halloween anymore. Ask your parents.)

Sooooo, after much debate my girlfriend and I knew we had to do what we had to do. . . Dress up as either a baby or a hobo
(--our same choices, every year), and get busy. We went with baby, and decided to hit the neighborhood blocks away so nobody would know us. I was the most adult looking baby ever to don a pacifier.

We weren't having a ball however. It probably truly was the year we had needed to quit rather than keep looking for Mr. Goodbar. After a dozen houses, and at least enough booty to make a dent -- we knocked on one last door.

I do not remember her name (an obvious
mental block, I'm sure) but Blonde Senior Cheerleader (let's just call her Bertha), threw open the door to a porch spotlight of this baby ninth grade trick or treater - who loved her MarkMan.

Oh My Goooooo*****!!! You guys are toooo old!!" I heard a hundred peers behind Bertha laugh at me, and winched, as she slammed the door on our faces.

I could have wet my diaper.

My life as I knew it (
okay, -it wasn't that great yet. But still!) was over! I imagined Bertha running back to Mark, sitting on his lap and petting his beard, as they both threw their heads back with belly laughs at my childishness.

I always knew she was just a little girl,--not old enough for true love, or winter formal," Mark would comment to Bertha, and the others. " . . . somebody bring me a mustache comb . . . "

That night, I cried myself to sleep in a bed of sticky Twizzlers wrappers, as the horror of my misadventure sunk in deeper, and I knew Mark was to be
no mas. That tender woolly face ---forevermore gone from the grasp of my sticky hands because of this Halloween's bitter trick.


True, as Halloween tales go
this one rather less scary -
rather dull, rather slow
But when you trick or treat
this year, in fun, in glee
be thou ever fearful -
as your own Bertha,
you may see!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now's The Time to Invest ! ( . . maybe)

The husband and I are shopping for a wee investment.

Well not
so wee -- as it is a house we are looking for. (We feel blessed to do so.)

But at the same time we are big chickens, so I'm not exactly sure how we will fare in the World of Trump. We don't
reeeelly want to spend very much, yet we still want something solid.
There is lots to understand about the California market, and one of those things is that you can't buy a nicely new, eighty-two thousand dollar, 2-story farmhouse charmer with a basement, like you can in Louisiana and Ohio --or wherever the heck else it is I keep reading about that has such places. (In fact in California, you
don't even get basements -- at any price. Even our malls hover 10 feet about ground level.) (Maybe it's so we can look down at the rest of you? But whose laughing now, right? At least you guys have somewhere to go during your hurricanes and tornados. For earthquakes we all bite our nails and congregate at the local SmoothieKing!)

Well we went shopping last week---and the city in which we are looking has a lot of fixer uppers in our price range. In fact I'm just thrilled when the houses we look at have 2 to 3 of their exterior walls intact, and electric versus candle light. (At one house I saw this
cute little family of rats runnin' the wheel just as hard and fast as their little bodies could, to keep that power going!)

I mean, we must be looking at the bottom of the real estate barrel, -I'll tell you that much.

One place had two bedrooms (that was if you decided to keep the curtain in room-divider position) and one bath (that was, if you didn't mind bathing in the sink). And it had it's own kitchen!
(That was if you were a wiz with the hot plate and toaster oven).

I take umbrage with the fact that I've never had new carpet in my life, and my 10 year old car doesn't believe in brakes or FM radio, (if the steering pulls anymore to the left I'll be in my right mind) ---and yet a new house would get all the 'my' house and car money.
Buuuut, it'll be the price we'll have to pay if we want to become Ma and Pa real estate.

One house actually didn't look too bad cosmetically - which made us wonder what was brewing underneath.
If only my husband owned an old work shirt, he could crawl around and check it out a bit. Oh Wait! I Forgot! He Does!! 32, Do-Not-Touch work shirts, 8 pants, and 6 old pairs of hole'y shoes. One pair with Power Ranger heads that light-up, belonged to our son -- though it's irrelevant that they don't fit my husband. They're Good Shoes!

Upon finding out the plumbing in this looker of a house would work just as well if we stuck a straw under the front yard and blew water through our mouths to the showers -- we passed on it.

Listen, it's not easy investment shopping. I suggested we invest in the
GoldDigger 5000 motorhome instead - you know, for making more memories in -- but with no response from my hubby. Though he would, I reminded him, be able to fit more work/camping shirts in it then any 'old house we might buy!
Yes, I suppose it's true, --the long term value would be better in a house that's not on wheels.

But what do I really know? I'm a consumer, not a professor.

( . . . For the record.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Serves, Peaches, and Cream

I don't even eat bowls of ice cream -- but I was feeling melancholy, and had on stretchy pants.

Some friends of ours gave us a huge box of delicious peaches straight from the farm. They picked them up driving through Littlerock, and I was thinking how the church used to have a peach farm there. The farm has since been closed (too bad).
--But anyhow, since I'd already had my dinner, there were peaches getting soft, and someone had told me they're delicious cut up over ice cream . . I was about to party.

Really, -- am only having this bowl of peaches and ice cream in Honor of the churches welfare system. Am deep in thought pondering charitable acts of service I may one day offer when phone rings. It's Brother M from the ward. Another ward's co-ed adult volleyball team didn't show to their game tonight, --and would my husband and I be able to run down and play?

I hadn't prepped myself for this. I know pathetic, right? How does one prep for a little semi- senior citizen volleyball? Well for starters you don't eat peaches and cream while watching HGTV. (Jeez. Just
saying the words peaches and cream, and HGTV, coaxs a grin.)

course, hubby is up for some game time. He's a stick figure with the energy of a blender, --and under the mistaken illusion these volleyball games feel just like the old days. Not so. Let me tell you something about our volleyball games. 'Old' is one word that comes to mind, yes. But then probably 'daze' --more then days.

-Before the game, --forget sportsmanship. We should
be praying deodorant and support garments hang in there.
-No one swears but there is a lot of grunting from the men
and high-pitched apologizes from the women.
-Whenever the ball goes over the net there's a hush in the
audience like they've just witnessed a rare Olympic dive.
-Most of us women--when the ball is heading for us--look
like we go through the entire sign-language alphabet before
deciding on a position for our hands.
-Our team's ball goes into the net more than Bishopric
members nap during sacrament.
-Three of us wear sweatpants so big, laid out they could double for the court lines.
-It's humiliating when the nursery kids behind the baby gate, laugh at us.
-In our game 'ace' refers to being able to return the ball without injury.
-In a sea of eyeglass wearers - it's still a shock how
fast the ball comes to being in front of you.
-We all have to carpool home in the same mini van because
our kids have our cars, our gas cards, and our twenty dollar bills.
-After the game no one wants to go for root beer, --only Advil.
-Somebodies husband keeps wearing his ninth grade "lucky" shorts to our games. (not saying who's husband - but
let's just say I happen to know
very well, his poor wife has tried to
hide those shorts, like, a million times.)

Some might counter, it's not in the Winning - but how you Play the game?

Uh, yeah. Be a peach will ya? -and let's not bring it up again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to Nature and Back

Went a campin' this weekend!
What fun, eh?

Well, sometimes. Sometimes fun, sometimes just a count down to a hand washing.

Okay I'm not a complete spoiled sport. First of all I did my time tent camping and bush potty'ing years past. And I learned a valuable lesson from it. I gotta have running water and a toilet everywhere I go in this life (and in the next). (It's how I'll know I'm in Heaven.)

I'm not sure about in other states and all, but in Cali the one with the biggest motorhome and most attached awnings wins.

Grateful for it, --but our motorhome is like the booby prize of motorhomes. Every once in a while during pre-trip prep I will hear my husband mumble things like "I hope that part doesn't blow-up on us" or "this leak might get into the back mattress" or "that sewer line is the thinnest dang sewer line I've ever seen". Now I don't make a big deal out of it because bottom line, the motorhome doesn't come with us, my primitive indoor plumbing doesn't either - and I'm willing to risk leaks, blow-ups or a little camper fire for that.

I've done my part too, trying to cute it up with patio lights and such, --but my husband warns me plugging them in our outlet, might deliver an electrocution. (It's either that - or he just doesn't want Debbie Mumm Daisy Lites hanging around his man-time. Whatever.)

Also, space is cramped in our home away from home. When the boys were little they used to sleep together on the top bunk, like a litter of cute puppies, all intertwined and at peace. Now it's like a cruel chapter from Alice in Wonderland as they spread themselves masculinely and heavily across tables, floors, window ledges, counters, and faucets to sleep at night.

We camp a lot with my high school girlfriend and her family, and that's one of the saving graces to our trips --
Because their motorhome is freakin' Awesome! . .
it has push-outs, flat screens, spa tub, queen bed, food pantry, and a Cuisinart.

(Oh, and we really enjoy their company.)

With our motorhome you can hear us coming for fifteen minutes before we arrive. It has avocado appliances, a staunch supply of baby wipes, and swell walkie-talkies. --And my toilet, of course.
I admit one appears very ungrateful when they get to the point of coveting other peoples toilets - but her's is a glistening globe of porcelain paradise! . . mine a fairly functioning bucket with foot pump. Plus when you sit on it, the whole camper leans.

Each night after a long day of fun and games, a lengthy line of hairy, grubby, roast-beast smelling band of man and young men (all mine, --but that doesn't mean I want to sleep in the same space with them) line up to enter at the camper screen door. By this time in the evening I have swept it out three times, founded a pile of dirty clothes the size of Mars, and disinfected anything that doesn't move, twice. A terrible mean streak comes over me and I suggest in my sweetest mommy voice from the clean side of the screen "wouldn't it be fun if you guys all slept in the real outdoors tonight??"

It never works but I never cease trying. That whole bit about us women being natural nurturers really only applies to certain situations.

And while for this trip we were at the beach --which truly, is so lovely--thank goodness we had one of the front row spots where you can look out at the coastline instead of the six-hundred people in sites, packed in behind you tighter than pubescent girls at a Hannah Montana concert. I don't know what it is with Los Angelinos and this fantasy that we can ever 'get away from it all.'

But now that I ponder on it a bit more -- I'm pretty sure a good upgrade on our ol' tent-on-wheels might be the ticket just the same. If we can't get away from it all --- maybe a simple in the motorhome arms-length distance from each other would feel just as good. I'll keep you posted on any changes in this department

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Psychology of Blogging

I have a few insecurities.

I know, I know - You find that hard to believe from a opinionated but anonymous complainer like me, for example, too chicken to leave her real name or address, and obsessed over her site pic -- but it's true.

So imagine my pain when a friend mentioned reading one of my blogs, agreeing with it, but then deciding not to leave the comment 'good one!' (--apparently the temptation to comment 'you're brilliant! and sooo funny. I wish more people were like you!' did not exist. -- but I'm not going to second guess it. No.) (No. Don't be silly.)

(Am ready to quit the blogging business, get my overdue chin-lift, and sew oven mitts in a closet.)

Well anyway, since my conversation with her I feel it imperative I say -- that actually, yes, I need positive feedback. I need it like fleas need dogs. Yes, to leaving nice comments. Goody for compliments. If you can't say anything nice - don't say anything at all.
. . . . . Well alright, truth be told, anything commented will do. -- I mean I suppose either way I am getting attention, right? And isn't that what it's all about?

As I think about it more, even if someone were to leave the post 'that was a bad read' -- I could still make it work for my ego. I would first, mentally block out the rejection and judgment - and second, become like a comment hacker, you know? Hacking into the negative comments and playing around with them 'til they came out leaving me less self-loathing. I could play around with the word 'bad' for instance, like a tatoo artist does . . . and change it into a beautiful twirly flower, or a new word altogether, like, baa . . boodylicious. Or something.

Okay. What I'm trying to say, is I don't really care. Read my blogs, or don't. Comment, or don't. Love me or Hate me -- it doesn't matter.

Strike that. It does matter.
Love me, love me.

Forget that. It doesn't matter.

**she says, blinking a twitch kind of blinking**

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One Man's Junk is Another Man's Hearth

Okay - that is Enough!

(I am only bold in my reprimand mind you, as we are not actually standing face to face. I perform all my best tyrants this way. Something I'm sure you have noticed by now.)

The mantels of America are a disgrace, and I can't take it anymore!

I recently came home with a clearance'd book on decorating. The premise of the book was how to re-decorate with what you already have, and thereby creating an affordable makeover. A bit of home therapy, if you will. All well and good - until page after page after page I had to see, what this decorator had to see, ---Mantels-Gone-Wrong.

"Every time I'm in this room, it feels sad to me," said one oblivious homeowner.

"We haven't an idea how to make (the room) any better," said another.

"I love my home, but nothing seems right," said nutty professor number three.

'Uhh, why don't you try removing the line of thirty-two Happy Meal toys from your mantel top!' I wanted to scream at the pages.

While I at least give these men and women credit for feeling 'something' was askew in their living spaces, --I at the same time felt like boppin' them on their little printed page heads for allowing such monstrosities of mantel and fireplace decor to co-exist with their apparently existing IQ's. What in the world is so hard about not leaving every life memento and awarded fast food 'treasure' strewn across ones mantel? I understand how this sort of stuff ends up bouncing around in the back seat of your car a week or two too long -- but then to actually carry them into your house and decorate with them? Pleaaasse! I may not always know my Monet from my Warhol, but I do know what a mantel should look like. Just close your eyes and think Pottery Barn or Martha Stewart. How hard can it be?

I ask you, --if you had a tractor in the living room, wouldn't you feel it needed to go? If a meteorite burst through your ceiling - would some clean-up be in order? If fairies came in the night and laid bright inflatable pool toys on your couch, might they strike you as ill-placed? So why doesn't a knick-knack parade of free plastic vases, pig-themed votives, eighteen sets of candlesticks, change jars, dusty red-silk roses, and birthday cards from the entire last decade--placed across the mantel--strike the average American as all wrong??!!

One may think I am making too big a deal out of this, but no, --I disagree. I have seen it for far too long, and in too many homes to remain quiet. This is not rocket-science, and I refuse to believe we can't all do just a little bit better than we have been doing. If everybody within the sound of my voice would take just one souvenir Slurpee cup or superhero collectible from off their living room mantel, the world would be a much saner place.

And I a much saner discount book reader.

Friday, October 3, 2008


on, I'm not the road rage kind of girl. But I am the kind to call a spade a spade.

--and some drivers get on my nerves. Now is that such a bad thing to say? Haven't we all at some time or another counted ourselves as the driver unlike the other drivers, that get on our nerves? Alright, you won't admit it - but I will, and while we are on the subject --- here's a couple 'getting-on-my-nerves' scenarios for you:

1. At stop signs we all take turns. Turns aren't only for the one with the biggest car or capable of the least amount of eye contact.

2. When the green left turn arrow goes dark, but your overall traffic light is still green -- please enter into the intersection while you wait your turn. From behind you I don't want to 'almost' make the light. 'Almost' only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and I've got places to go and people to see.

(Solved by a good honk, you say?
I don't like confrontations. Plus I want everyone to like me.)

3. The more bumper stickers on your car the less sense in your head. I know this one isn't going to go over well with some folk -- but still, it's a scientific fact. If you have more bumper stickers on your car than eggs in your fridge--you have crossed a mental health line.

4. When I have to go potty and need to get home, do not test drive your energy efficient puff-puff cars in front of me. One of these days I will literally explode -- and will have your memorized license plate to report to the poor handsome paramedic that is called to clean up my accident mess. Everyone involved is going to be humiliated.

5. If your radio is so loud the metal of your car door protrudes with the force of each drum beat -- I don't want to share the road with you. I used to want to share the road with you, --and date you, -- but that was in my twenties and I'm much better now.

6. I love a diet soda as much as the next girl, but not in cups the size of space shuttles - and watching you try and drink from them constitutes a coronary for me.

7. I wasn't born yesterday. I'm perfectly aware my car looks like mother gooses'. (Please, feel free to start a charity for me.)
Someday I will be rockin' the streets in a smaller car, but for now I drive like I sit . . . Wide.

8. Picking up our children from school should be illegal. I know stuff is serious in Afghanistan, -but has the government really looked into what is going on in school parking lots? Serious warfare. Serious sin.
This could all be fixed, except for in a teens mind the term 'walk-home' is akin to 'skinned-alive'.
(---Just for the record, I have driven my children to somewhere (including today) a grand total of one billion, six million, four hundred thousand, one hundred and twenty-nine times.)

And so, who is it that coined the phrase Highway To Heaven?
I'd like a word with them.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's In A Word?

Oh my
gosh! How fun is it to pick out a name for your 'own' blog site, right??!!

No Fun At All!
how much fun it is.

There are like sooo many cute words out there, and everybody else has already snapped up like, every clever title there could ever be! I mean, there are like a million trillion, mczillion words to pick from, right? But they are
all being used, I swear! s-w-e-a-r! And how come everyone else gets to have all the way cute titles, for eternity? Shouldn't we, need to share or something? Like, couldn't we maybe like take turns, you'd think? WWJD?

I would have
loved to use words like daisy, birdy, bloom, condescending, sunny, and tender in my title. Or rosy, sing, home, idle-talk junkie, meadow, faithful, or love. But nothing . . and I mean nothing seemed to come together. Whatever I did think of was either already taken, -- or was pretty lame, let me tell you. Just look at a few of the titles I decided against:

www. longtiredroadtobedtime
www. mormondamselindistress
www. youcantakethegirloutofjuniorhighbutyou
www. hesaidshesaid_Itoldyouthatalreadydon'tyoulisten
www. mycupsizerunnethoverandsodoesmytummy

I mean - come
on, right??

finally - I came up with --and then what happens the very next thing?? The computer tells me somebody else already has that blogspot title too!!

Twenty minutes and one 5th grade neighbor later -- I gratefully learn it is only 'me' who is the somebody else. Why don't these computers come with an instruction manual, you know? . . . Well, I mean, I suppose they do. . . But who's going to look at
those? . . . You'd have to be an idiot!

I guess the point of the whole matter is --- don't get your own blogspot now. Don't even try, I'm telling you. There is nothing left out there. Nothing.

I'm just going to have to try and do the best I can, -- for
all of us. I know there's a lot on our minds - but I'm up to the task. You don't know 'a lot on your mind' 'til you've seen what's weighing on me. And, --if you really, really just feel like you have to say something somewhere (and since I have the last blog title in the whole universe of any real relevance or cuteness) - I guess you could comment here.

But keep it brief. This isn't your site.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scrap Blogging

Well, it turns out I'm not the only blogger in existence. Which I guess I already knew . . but there are a few others. In fact I think the number is somewhere equal to grains of sand at the beach.

No big'y.
(And me lost in the shuffle? Nothing I'm not used to, --I assure you.)

It seems however some are offended by blogs. I don't mean in the same fashion as one is offended by say, a racists or a cupcake hog, . . --- it's just some get a little grossed out by all the picture perfect 'Christmas-card' family stories to be read on blogs.

My girlfriend (*very excited here that so soon into my blogging I can already squeeze in a line alluding to the fact that yes, I have friends*) frankly,cannot stand them. I guess to her it feels like the same mommy-trend that hit hard about eight years ago when scrapbooking overtook even Oprah in social status.

I must say I'm with her on the scrapbooking thing. If I'm going to spend that much time around my pictures there better be modeling involved or a large check. And how long can a grown woman play with crafting scissors and stickers, anyway? I know someday our generation will be the pioneers of the Provo Craft era, but don't count me in. Any hobby that necessitates using the word 'cute' twenty-six times in a thirty minute spell, is the epitome of wrong--and you know it.

But, whatever . . And to each his own.

I can only pray though there is not a scrapbook in existence that was paid for by the missing of a Project Runway episode.

Don't hate the messenger.